UFC Vegas 12: Silva reveals Muhammad Ali inspiration for knock-out wins

Ahead of his fight with Uriah Hall, Anderson Silva said that he is fully ready for the octagon despite not competing for the past 18 months.

Uriah Hall (Left) and Anderson Silva (Right) at the weigh-in event ahead of their UFC Vegas 12 fight.   -  Getty Images

There are only a few Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) stars who will feature in the 'Greatest of All Time (GOAT)' debate, and a prominent figure in this discussion is former UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva.

Silva, who holds the record for the longest title reign -- 2457 days -- in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) history, will face #10-contender Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 12 in Nevada on Saturday night, in what will be his final bout with the promotion.

The 45-year-old Brazilian veteran had last fought Jared Cannonier in a middleweight contest during the co-main event of UFC 237 in May 2019. Despite not stepping into the Octagon for close to 18 months, Silva is confident of his chances against Hall.

"I've trained for this fight for four months. I feel very prepared and confident. I try to enjoy every single moment of my life because we don't have control over time. My complete focus right now is on the fight on Saturday. I want to do my best and make it special for my fans, my country and me," he said during a virtual UFC media conference.

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Nicknamed 'The Spider', Silva also holds the longest winning streak -- 16 consecutive victories -- in UFC history. Throughout his storied career, he's finished the likes of Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort, who have had monumental MMA careers themselves.

Among these encounters, the first-round knockout of Griffin at UFC 101 in August 2009 has stayed close to Silva's heart because he had taken a page or two out of professional boxing legend Muhammad Ali's book back then.

"The thing special about the Griffin fight was that I watched several tapes of Muhammad Ali fights before that. And that was the secret for my victory in that bout. The magic moment happened, and I want to thank Griffin for fighting me. That was the best moment of my life," he added.

Silva isn't someone who keeps looking back at the past. However, the middleweight superstar himself agreed that he had been waiting for a few rematches in UFC.

"I usually don't think about rematches. But if I had got a rematch against Michael Bisping, it would have been special. It never happened. And I would like to run back the Nick Diaz fight too because it's the only No-Contest in my career," he claimed.